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What to Wear in Germany

Kind of stupid question since the locals will know we are tourists anyway, but I was curious if jeans and polo-type shirts are appropriate for wear when touring the Rhineland region. I was also thinking about bringing a fedora/safari-type hat because of the fact we will be going in August and visiting many castles. Would I get many stares? Do people even wear hats other than baseball caps anymore? I am not a baseball cap person as I prefer more classical styles such as the fedora. Any thoughts?

Posted by
12040 posts

Wide-brimmed hats are worn fairly commonly in Germany... but in the winter. If your purpose is to protect yourself from the sun, even in August, Germany isn't the sunniest country in the world. When I lived in Germany, I only wore a protective hat when hiking in the Alps.

As for the rest... wear what you want. Among Germans, collared, button-down shirts are more common than polo in casual situations, but as a tourist, nobody will notice your clothes, except perhaps other tourists.

Posted by
2914 posts

Jeans and polo style shirts are all I ever wear on trips to Germany, Austria, etc. As for the hat, I can't see why that would be an issue at all either.

Posted by
8962 posts

Fedora hats are very popular and always look stylish. Polo shirts are fine, but what is more common and what may be more practical are long sleeved button down shirts. Get permanent press and they always look nice, dry quickly if you are doing hand laundry and you can roll up the sleeves when it gets warm or if it is breezy, roll them down. Riding on the ships or exploring cool castles, or in the evenings sitting at a cafe' you may want the long sleeves. Yes, to jeans. Why wear anything else? Most versatile piece of clothing you can wear.

Posted by
1455 posts

The young people in Germany wear what our young people wear here. One brand the cousin in Germany liked was Holister. She was wearing NYC clothes and dressed more "American" than I was.

Just be comfortable, and unless you are wearing a shirt that says I (HEART) NYC, no one will stare at you.

Posted by
693 posts

Lederhosen, if you really want to look like a local in the South.

Posted by
13 posts

I have lived in Switzerland and have traveled to many regions in Europe for many years now and I do not understand the dress code myth either. I have worn all types of clothing and I found as long as your sensible you should be fine. If you wear shorts or short sleeves bring a wrap or something to cover yourself when entering a church. As for people staring at me I never noticed. I live in NYC and I only mention it because tourists seem to be part of the landscape. Of all the people I know in the City, I have never met someone who made a tourist feel uncomfortable for their dress or even noticed what tourists are wearing for that matter and the same was true when I travel overseas. I have worn jeans on many trips. I find now that I am older I do not enjoy jeans in the Summer they just feel too heavy making me hot and I do not wear shorts at all anymore but that is my personal preference. I like to bring my khaki work pants because they are light and are good in any situation and they do not wrinkle much. I think you should just enjoy your trip and wear what makes you comfortable. Just by posing your topic question shows your concerned about the customs and norms of the region your visiting and the people there will notice and appreciate you for that more then what you wear. Safe and happy travels to you.

Posted by
14580 posts

No need to think about what you should be wearing in Germany...wear what is you and what you feel comfortable in. In Austria and Germany I don't wear polo shirts, jeans , or shorts, or any caps/ hats but button down shirts, casual pants. True that the locals know I am a tourist (and will know you are one too), but so what, doesn't matter to me.

Posted by
32222 posts

As the others have said, wear what you want. However, keep in mind that jeans will likely be hot in August and will require more "formal" laundry facilities as they probably won't wash well in a hotel room sink (take too long to dry).

Posted by
332 posts

The only time that I ever felt out of place in Germany when wearing normal clothes was when I accidentally ended up in the middle of a Europunk concert/rave in the Marian Platz in Munich (All I wanted to do was see the glockenspiel). Great for people watching, but wearing jeans and a hoodie really stood out in the middle of a punk concert/rave :)

I think you will be good in what you have mentioned above. My hubby took a summer fedora with us last time we were in Germany and he was fine. I would consider a crushable style hat the packs well, his summer fedora (it was a strawish material) got a bit crushed on the plane. He also bought a hat there, and he always gets "Cool Hat!" from people back in the States.